Let’s jump right on in, shall we?
A bitch read this piece about a new poll that found that just over half of Americans think torture can be justified as a tool to “thwart” a terrorist attack and it made my soul ache.
Actions have consequences and, in this case, the campaign to amplify fear while at the same time twist reality has apparently resulted in more than half of Americans having lost their motherfucking minds.
I don’t give a hot damn if knees jerk at this…trusting the integrity of information gleaned from torture is no different than an employer trusting feedback on a project from an employee she just threatened to fire for not being a team player. Odds are Person B is gonna tell Person A what he thinks she wants to hear because Person B knows his ass is on the line.
When Person B’s ass is literally on the line, the motivation to toss out bullshit that will please Person A increases and the integrity of the words that come out of Person B’s mouth is diminished.
But we know that shit.
Yes, we do…and this bitch is tired as hell of pundits and others acting like we don’t have over 100 years of terror, war and torture to examine and deduce that TORTURE DOES NOT FUCKING WORK…cough…and, therefore, is both a waste of time and a dangerous way to get data. I’m not even going to mention that it’s morally wrong because clearly our moral compass has been shot to hell. So fuck morality – torture is unreliable and, if more than half of Americans want to reliably thwart (Gawd, what a word?!?) another attack then they should turn to their Nation Handbook of Guaranteed Ways to Prevent Future Violence (‘tis a quick read, trust) where they will discover that there is no chapter titled Torture.
Lawd, give me strength.
If we the people were to examine moments when torture, along with general violent oppression, was used as a means to prevent attacks we’d see the error of that thinking. A bitch would like to direct more than half of we the people to the award winning movie The Battle of Algiers. The film is based on events that took place during the eight year Algerian War against French colonial rule in North Africa (1954-1962). They should prevent themselves from falling into the intellectually lazy pattern of thinking French torture was different from American torture and that the French didn’t torture Algerians enough. Trust that the French gave torture a solid multi-year run during the Algerian War…and it was successful - Algerians coughed up all manner of information as a result. Algeria also won the war and independence from France.
The Pentagon screened The Battle of Algiers in 2003 because it provides a lot of insight into insurgent opposition to an occupying power, so this bitch isn’t the only one who thinks the film is a useful learning tool. Unfortunately, the film was not viewed prior to the Bush Administration setting their course and fixing those blinders upon their relatively empty heads.
Anyhoo, the failure of torture and brutal oppression during the Algerian War is but one of many examples of how TORTURE DOES NOT FUCKING WORK.
But this bitch gets that torture is less about using a proven tactic and more about frustration on the part of the torturer over the reality that determining the plans of the torturee is fucking hard to do.
Be that as it may, more than half of Americans need a reality check. Even if a body is able to dismiss the moral complications of torture one cannot argue with the history of that shit failing to thwart.
Well, one could argue with history but then you’d be debating the un-debatable.
Speaking of debating the un-debatable...
During recent Senate hearings…lost in the political storm over what Speaker Pelosi knew about American use of torture and when she knew it…former FBI interrogator, Ali Soufan, and a Bush State Department deputy, Philip Zelikow gave testimony on how fubar our use of torture has been.
Soufan also said that his use of psychological manipulation did result in solid data but torture didn’t.
When Senator Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) argued that… “One of the reason these interrogation techniques have survived for 500 years is because they work.”
Soufan replied… “There are a lot of people who find it easier and aren’t smart enough” to interrogate someone without torture.